Patriots spoil Spartans’ title bid

BROADALBIN – The Queensbury Spartans needed a win in Broadalbin-Perth Saturday to secure a Foothills Council league title. The Patriots had other ideas as they defeated the Spartans 4-3 in double overtime.

The Broadalbin-Perth (11-3-0 league, 13-3-0 overall) win means that the South Glens Falls Bulldogs, second in the Foothills Council standings entering Saturday’s action, are league champions.

Queensbury’s (11-2-1 league, 13-2-1 overall) Preston Hendrick kicked off the scoring with 32:36 remaining in the first half when he put the first shot of the game for either team past Broadalbin-Perth goalkeeper Devin Page. A Queensbury blunder two and a half minutes later knotted the score at one apiece. Broadalbin-Perth sent a corner kick toward the goal where a Spartan defensemen leaped and headed the ball into his own net. Brandon Rafferty was credited with the goal.

Despite two quick scores, the first half of play had a defensive feel to it. Both teams put their speed on display, pushing through rainy conditions and slippery turf at Patriot Field.

“They’re [Queensbury] an incredibly talented team that pushes the ball well,” said Broadalbin-Perth head coach Brian Henry. “We knew that it was going to be physical, fast, and a little bit of a track meet with these guys, and with the slick conditions tonight with the rain we weren’t really sure what was going to happen.”

Logan Ackley connected on a header from Ryan Dingman that floated just past the outstretched arms of Queensbury goalkeeper Tyler Raymond with 17 minutes remaining. Ten minutes later, Ackley took a pass from Scott Everson and broke away before putting in his second goal of the half.

The Spartans got one back less than one minute later. Liam Mulshine found the ball following a Queensbury corner kick and converted from close range.

Down 3-2 five minutes into the second half, Queensbury’s Seth Weingert lofted a direct kick over a Broadalbin-Perth wall that whizzed past Page for the game-tying goal.

Queensbury held an edge throughout most of the half, making more consistent runs and making passes that lead to open shots. The Spartans outshot the Patriots 8-1 in the first 30 minutes of the half. Broadalbin-Perth found an offensive rhythm in the waning minutes, however, putting three shots on goal including attempts by Everson and Ackley.

Neither team made a run at the goal in a defensive first overtime period. Weingart got off one off-balanced shot with 15 seconds remaining in the half for Queensbury that went wide of the net.

Midway through the second overtime period, Dingman made a run down the sideline and passed the ball into the box for Everson. Raymond came out of the goal to scoop up the loose ball before Everson could connect, but couldn’t come up with it cleanly. The ball trickled far enough away for the ready and waiting Francesco Mastrocinque to softy tap it into the goal for the game-winning score.

“We preach to these guys you have to crash the net because you’re not sure what’s going to happen with that ball,” said Henry. “That was a perfect example. It was a good end.”

Queensbury outshot Broadalbin-Perth 14-11 overall. Page made six saves in the game for the Patriots.

On a night where the Broadalbin-Perth players donned pink uniforms for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Henry says the win is extra special.

“That was exciting from the first whistle to the last,” said Henry. “I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. They dug deep and they found a way to win tonight on a very special night that had more meaning than just a soccer game.”

Sectional tournament seedings will be announced Tuesday.